The Voice recap: Funny People

This week's battle rounds make us crack up—intentionally, and not so intentionally
Ep. 12 | Aired Oct 15, 2012

"I'M NOT A BON JOVI TYPE OF GUY": So says Sam James (left) to Benji (right), but—spoiler alert!—he totally is.

NBC

Tonight, while watching The Voice, it occurs to me that this show is high comedy, with emphasis on the high. Between Terisa's bizarre booty dance, Paulina's baby-cartoon-character voice, and the fact that Christina's giggling to herself the whole time, I can't stop laughing. And just when I think I can control myself, Blake stops by to utter that magic word that makes everyone lose it again: Bublé!

Bublé! Bublé! Bublé!

Okay, sorry, I'll try to keep it together. But I can't promise much.

Team Blake: Julio Cesar Castillo vs. Terisa Griffin

Sometimes Blake just goes bananas with his song choices. This is one of those times. Gloria Estefan's "Conga"? This is such a crazy speedball of a song, you practically need an auctioneer to sing it. Trying to rationalize his pick, Blake explains that "it's performed by a female diva" (Terisa happens to be female) and "it's got a Latin vibe" (Julio happens to be Latino), so, y'know, QED and stuff. At first, Terisa thinks Blake is trying to get rid of her. But after hearing Julio smoosh all the lyrics into one giant cmonshkkebddybbydothacnga, it's clear that there's a level playing field here, because even Michael Bublé admits that "No one in the history of the world ever really knew the words."

Both Terisa and Julio have powerful voices, but Julio sounds just a little smoother. From the moment they start singing, Terisa is totally over the top. She's moving her butt around in a way that's positively hypnotic, and she's hollering and growling and rolling her r's. I decide that I love her. And then, the very next minute, I'm laughing at her. And then I'm laughing with her. And then I love her again! She's definitely having the most fun of anyone in this competition. Watching her, Christina is speechless. Blake even suggests that Julio was scared of her. But when Blake goes for Julio, Cee Lo steals Terisa, who sticks out her arms and shakes her stuff in triumph. Go Terisa! Do that conga! We know you can't control yourself any longer!

Team Christina: Dez Duron vs. Paulina 

It's ironic that Christina assigns Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" to these two, because I don't think Paulina knows how to sing just the way she is. She's so busy ad-libbing her way through vocal runs, flips, and somersaults that Christina has to remind her to "just sing the song." By comparison, Dez seems anxious and quiet. But his mentor Billie Joe Armstrong assures him, "That's natural. Be nervous! It's your friend." Awww.

Once they're both in the battle ring, Dez comes across as calm and steady, if a little too straightforward. And that's okay, because Paula sounds like a mess. She's Betty Boop gone haywire, her helium-high voice wobbling up and down until her pitch seems to escape like a big red balloon getting carried away in a hurricane. Although Cee Lo tells her, "I love the quirk in your voice," Blake has more trouble remaining charitable. "Paulina," he says, trying to find the right words. "You have such.. different... qualities..." Even Christina has trouble selecting a compliment. "Paulina, you have this... specific quality to your voice," she says, without specifying what that quality is. (Wretchedness?) She goes with Dez.

NEXT: Giving love a bad name, but giving Adam Levine a good one


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